Nearly every office-based professional starts their workday the same way: by opening their email. It often feels like a crucial daily step, allowing them to catch up on important news, review critical details, or continue conversations.
However, even though email is a common part of the work experience, that doesn’t mean everyone words their messages correctly. Since emails lack critical context – like the vocal nuances and facial expressions you get in face-to-face discussions – it’s easy to select phrases that may be misinterpreted or ill-received.
If you want to make sure your email is worded properly, here are some tips for handling these communications.
Watch Out for Negative Undertones
One of the biggest shortcomings of email is the inability to convey your tone. For example, “I can’t talk right now, so we’ll have to catch up about this later,” could seem aggressive or apologetic, depending on how it is said. But, in an email, you don’t get the benefit of vocal inflections. This allows the reader to apply any tone mentally, and that impacts how your message is perceived.
However, by adjusting the wording, you can make sure that the desired tone is reflected in the message. For instance, using the above example, changing your statement to, “I’m sorry, but I’m busy at the moment,” softens the message. Then, if you add a simple, “Could we schedule a time to discuss this tomorrow?” shows that you aren’t dodging the conversation but that you want to engage with the other person.
Before you send any email, review the content one line at a time. Consider whether any statement could be misconstrued as negative, aggressive, or rude, even if that isn’t how you intend it.
Then, rethink any segments that could cause confusion or may lead to a misinterpretation. Soften the language to reduce negative emotional triggers and select words that convey the proper feeling.
Don’t Diverge from High-Quality Writing
Thanks to text messaging, certain shortened responses and acronyms are now part of the everyday lexicon. However, that doesn’t mean they are appropriate for business emails, even if they are widely accepted.
When you write a message at work, focus on crafting high-quality writing. Use proper spelling and grammar, include full sentences, and avoid terms like “lol,” “ttyl,” or other casual abbreviations. Similarly, don’t include emojis, even as a means of conveying tone, as they suggest you lack the ability to express yourself properly using the written word.
It’s important to remember that emails are not texts or IMs, so they shouldn’t be treated as such. Instead, they are more formal forms of communication, so make an effort to create messages that are professional and appropriate.
Need Help With Your Career?
If you are looking for more tips about how to create business emails, the team at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our experienced staff members today and see how our workplace communication expertise can benefit you.